satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)May 26, 2009

So...I appreciate all the advice around here on dealing with my squirrel problems. If anyone has more advice, please keep it coming. They're getting on my deck via the adjacent trees and the vertical supports (I'd put metal flashing up the supports so they can't climb it, but they're just gonna use the trees)

Anyway, I have tried EVERYTHING. Nothing is working - more ideas? Anyone?

I had several more tomato seedlings have all of the leaves eaten off them as you see below, in addition to the bastards chewing my small japanese maples in half like beavers.

Well, I got sick of it. This weekend, I built the contraption below from a piece of leftover dog crate, some zip ties and masonite. I will probably cap the ends off with steel if it works. Hoping this will squirrel-proof my seedlings? Suggestions welcome, of course.

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I think I'm reaching a point where I would like to build a similar structure-on a larger scale- that could encase my entire yard!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 7:29AM
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Squirrels do love potted plants! I keep my "special" ones close to the house but even that does not keep them out .... When I plant buckeyes in the fall (usually 40 or more), I do place a cap of hardware cloth over the group of pots. We are considering screening in a portion of our porch - and part of the reason is to have a squirrel free area to over winter things! Your solution looks much cheaper ... ;)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 9:41AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I just hope they can't get through the holes. The squirrel problems have slowly escalated over the last 5 years. First 2 years we were here, there was pracitcally no activity. 3rd year, the activity picked up a bit. Fourth year, it picked up a little more. Now into the 5th and 6th years, it's unbearable. They're destroying our plants by chewing them in half (and leaving the remnants behind ?!!??) or just chewing all the leaves off the veggies (and often leaving some of those behind).

I'm fed up. If this doesn't work, I'm going to wrap it in chicken wire, or get some angle iron and weld up a cage, then tie chickenwire on it.

The cayenne route seemed to work ok, but when we started putting it in the pots is when they started "beavering" our plants. (Retaliation?!)

Now the cayenne doesn't work, because they seem to be working in teams - one will come by and dig up the pot and get tore up by the cayenne, then run off, and another one comes in behind them and finishes the job, cayenne free.

So aggravating. I want to kill them, but I don't like killing animals. Even rodents like these.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Squirrels hate birds of prey. Get a plastic Owl or Hawk for the railing. Move it every few days to keep them guessing.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 4:47PM
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I am also fed up with them.
They first started messing around with my corn seed. A few survived. Then I planted some peanuts, chick peas. They wont let them grow. Now messing sround with the potted plants. I have had it. URR$%#@hg+++
Today I sat up a rat trap (with peanut butter and fresh peanut) And I have a rabbit trap that has gotten wet in the rain. I am drying it up and soon will trick them into it. First no set up but few peanuts at the entrance. Then farther inside, still no set up. WHen they think that this box is fine, I will set it up. I am going to get them one by one.ARRRRgiRRR
But, at this point I am not really 100% sure that it is squirrels, chipmonk or rats. It does not matter.
Last year I had big rat problem and almost wiped them out by more multiple methods; baits(home made, store-bought), rat trap, live traps.

Now I guess it is squirrels turn.
Like GW Bush said once : Bring'm on!!
And like hemingway said in "Old Man And the Sea",
O" fish, you are my brother but I have to kill you.
(para phrased)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 5:47PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

We're fed up with them too. They've not done much damage to our plants (yet), but we can't keep bird feeders in the back yard without squirrels destroying them. I tried spraying cooking spray on the feeders (to make the pepper stick) and then putting a thick layer of cayenne on the feeder perches and top of the feeders. I thought we had the problem licked since they stayed away for about 3 days. Then they seemed to develop a tolerance for the pepper and were as bad as ever. Maybe someday someone will discover an effective deterrent and we'll be rid of the little bushy tailed rats!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:25PM
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I don't relish being the bearer of bad news, to anyone believing they can eradicate the tree rats from their garden! I have been trying, without success, for 20 years!
After trapping and extirpating many dozens, I have only experienced very brief periods, counted in days, when I could peer out a window and not observe a squirrel and/or a chipmunk (ground squirrel) scurrying about the garden or woodland.
The absence of an acorn crop last year has severely depleted the number of the rodents, but they are finding food somewhere about, otherwise they would abandon my homestead.
Caught one Sunday and have it in a holding cage, while the traps are set for two more, seen yesterday.
I'm beginning to suspect that someone, elsewhere, is trapping them and releasing them in my neighborhood!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:46PM
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spray the bird seeds with hot pepper sauce tea'
Birds do not have the sense for hot, but squirrels do.

Maybe the rain washed away hot pepper coating on bird feeder. It is hard to believe that they developed immunity against hot pepper.I have been eating ho pepper all my life and have not developed immunity

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 12:16AM
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This is a mystery!!!

As I mentioned before, I sat up a rat trap, hoping to catch the culprit responsible for digging up my corn and peanut patches and messing around with the potted plants.

I did that on Tuesday evening. Today, Wednesday morning, I went to see what has happened. Well, nothing was caught
and above that the rat trap was not there or anywhere that could look for. Hmmmm!!!

So what is your senario, for this mystery?
By the way, today all day no activity of destruction was committed by the suspects (grin). I even put some peanuts at the crime location, but they were not touched. It seems to me that at least sofar it has cost me a rat trap to get rid of a squirrell or whatever. Also, this indicates that the suspect did not have any co-conspiritor(?) or accessory to the crime ( hehe ! )
I have three more rat trap to spend but I also have a so-called "Humane" trap that I serviced it today and it is ready to go at any time. This is basically a rabbit motel but can accommodate rats and squirrels too. (grin!)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 11:33PM
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Rodents will often crawl away, dragging the trap, because they are not yet dead. I secure the traps to a location, by attaching a small screw eye-hook in the edge of the trap base and tethering it with a heavy cord or small chain. They then have to hang around, to determine their ultimate fate!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 12:25AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

lol @ "not dead yet"

i can't help but think of Monty Python's King Arthur ... the "bring out your dead" wheelbarrow scene - the old man, "I'm not dead!" "I think I'll go for a walk!"

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 3:10PM
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woody_ga(7a GA)

Just remember, Squirrels are not animals. They are varmits!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 10:15AM
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Would you believe that some of my neighbors have installed feeding stations for the destructive rats? They say that they "adore" the fuzzy little creatures and their antics!
Of course these are the ones that do no gardening and hire a mower & blower to cut their grass and weeds every week or so, year around.
They give no thought about attracting these dumb creatures to the neighborhood, where they are very destructive in my garden. You may count on the fact, that I have little or no communication with such selfish and small-minded people, that can be easily entertained by such a destructive animal!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 3:03AM
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I'm having the same problem. There is this crazy chipmunk that has managed to rip up my seedlings, eat my strawberries, and dig up my tropical fruit seedlings. I finally cut up the bottom of some old pantyhoses and slipped them over the top of my seedlings and wrapped a rubberband to hold in place. So far, the chipmunk left it alone. I don't remember having this problem in past years.....

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 5:00PM
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I'm had to chuckle at this thread....because my husband and I have always joked, "When I get to heaven and can ask God any question, it's going to be - "WHY did you create squirrels and mosquitos?" LOL

I feel your pain.
thankfully (knock on wood) these varmits love my neighbor's yard/contents but don't frequent mine. Deer eat her plants - but not mine (knock on wood again).

I SO dislike squirrels and ivy. I'd like to pull up the ivy and choke them squirrels :/


    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 9:15PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

well, on a positive note, i can happily say that it seems the cage i built is working.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 11:44PM
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Story today from the wire services:

PORT HURON, Mich. (May 31) -- Squirrel. Thief.
A brazen squirrel has been grabbing small American flags placed in a Port Huron, Mich., cemetery and carrying them up to its nest, which now looks as if it's bedecked in bunting.
Every Memorial Day, volunteers place the flags next to the graves of nearly 1,000 veterans buried at Mount Hope Cemetery about 55 miles northeast of Detroit. The flags were undisturbed during a Mass held Monday.
The Times Herald reports that workers at the cemetery on Tuesday noticed several flags had been torn off their wooden staffs, which were still in the ground.
The mystery was solved in front of superintendent Ron Ceglarek's eyes. He watched a squirrel detach a flag stapled to a staff and carry it up a tree to the nest.

They do what they do, when their tiny brain functions at all!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 6:41PM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

Darn, The squirrels ate all my nectarine fruits from my tree. That tree is far from my house and next to the wooden fence. I am afraid that they will attack the next fruit trees closer to the house one next to one.
Can we poison the squirrels just like we do for rats? Bagging the fruit could be a solution? or they will torn up the plastic bags and eat the fruit inside anyway... I love animal but not sure about squirrels... :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 12:02PM
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Seems like squirrels love mulch...but I have a solution - on newly planted pots, seedlings, etc., I lay a thin layer of spanish moss. So far ( 2 years use, now), the pesky rodents have not bothered anything. And the moss is not too bad to look at.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:58AM
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